Photo: Omri Barzilai
Stone tools discovered in Ramat Rachel
Photo: Omri Barzilai
Photo: Omri Barzilai
Proximity to flint brought prehistoric man to place
Photo: Omri Barzilai

Prehistoric Jerusalemite

Excavations in capital reveal skeletons believed to date back as far as 200,000 years; Antiquities Authority officials say pre-historic man was mostly nomadic

Excavations by the Antiquities Authority have shown that prehistoric man lived in the area of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem. Skeletons discovered during routine Authority oversight of a kibbutz building project are believed to date to the mid-Paleolithic period, 50,000-200,000 years ago.


Antiquities Authority inspector archeologist Nuha Said-Aga discovered a large concentration of stone vessels that served prehistoric man hundreds of thousands of years ago. Following the discovery the area was excavated, and hundreds of vessels dated to the mid-Paleolithic period were discovered.


Antiquities Authority officials Omri Barzilai and Michal Birkenfeld, who directed the excavation, believe that the reason for prehistoric settlement there was probably the area’s proximity to flint, from which prehistoric man prepared tools and utensils.


“It’s a reasonable assumption that man lived in that period by hunting animals and gathering wild plants, and that he didn’t settle permanently in one site, but wandered from place to place looking for important resources like water and food,” they note.


Those involved in the excavations were excited by the discovery of such an early site in Jerusalem since the city, despite its abundance of antiquities from various periods, has only two other known sites from this period, one on Emek Refaim Street and the other in the area of Mt. Scopus.


According to the Antiquities Authority, the discovery of the site shows that the area was an attractive place for human beings not only from the biblical period onward, but in the pre-historic period as well.


פרסום ראשון: 05.12.06, 09:26
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